New Cadillac ATS to take on BMW 3-Series

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93362011 Cadillac CTS Coupe” /Cadillac-ATS-CTS

We’ve seen Lexus and Infiniti tried to take on the BMW and Mercedes-Benz with its Lexus IS and Infiniti G. Now, Cadillac is planning to expand its line-up with a new smaller car to take on the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. This small car will be positioned below the Cadillac CTS lineup. 

Although GM also did not identify the name for the car or give the time frame for production, it it expected that the small rear-wheel drive car will be called the Cadillac ATS. Sources say that the Cadillac ATS will be powered by an all-new 4-cylinder engine. And there are options for a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder and a V6 engines as well.

“The 3 series is BMW’s biggest seller,” said Jim Hall, director of industry analysis at 2953 Analytics. Cadillac has “to go with the core of the market.”

The Cadillac ATS will be built at the Lansing Grand River assembly plant. The company stated that it plans to commit $190 million for this goal.

“America’s fastest-growing luxury brand this year is about to get even more competitive with the addition of an all-new small luxury car,” said GM Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson. “This investment demonstrates GM’s commitment to Cadillac and to a strong U.S. manufacturing base.”

No further details were revealed by GM’s press release, but we should see more details of the Cadillac ATS in early 2011. GM plans to have the Cadillac ATS  in dealerships by 2012 or beginning of 2013.

[ title=”Press Release”]

PRESS RELEASE: GM to Invest $190 Million, Add 600 Jobs at Lansing Grand River

LANSING, Mich. – General Motors today announced a $190 million investment in its Lansing Grand River assembly plant for the production of a new Cadillac model. The investment will create 600 jobs and result in the addition of a second shift.

“America’s fastest-growing luxury brand this year is about to get even more competitive with the addition of an all-new small luxury car,” said GM Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson. “This investment demonstrates GM’s commitment to Cadillac and to a strong U.S. manufacturing base.”

The announcement brings the total of new U.S. investment to more than $3.1 billion and more than 7,900 jobs that GM has created or retained in 21 U.S. plants since emerging from bankruptcy in July 2009.

Built in 2001, Lansing Grand River is GM’s second-newest U.S. assembly plant and the manufacturing home of the Cadillac CTS and STS as well as their V-series performance versions. Earlier this year Lansing Grand River received the J.D. Power and Associates Bronze Plant Award for initial quality.

Joe Ashton, UAW vice president of the GM Department, said, “Today’s announcement is further proof of what UAW President Bob King said earlier this summer, ‘The UAW recognizes the paramount importance of innovation, flexibility and partnership with management to respond to global economic pressures. We are proud to play our part in the turnaround at GM. Our mission is to make the highest quality products for the best value.’

“The members of UAW Local 652 have consistently demonstrated that they can compete with any labor force on the globe,” Ashton added. “The commitment, dedication, and hard work of GM’s UAW members provide the foundation for the positive news coming from the company.”

This year, the Lansing Grand River team launched the CTS Coupe, lauded by the automotive press for groundbreaking design and outstanding performance. The Coupe extends the CTS line, which has been named to Car and Driver’s 10 Best list for three straight years. It shares design cues with the CTS Sport Sedan, but the Coupe has a wider track, lower roofline and shorter length, giving it an aggressive stance and sleek, athletic profile

The timing of the new Cadillac and the new jobs as well as the start of the second shift will be announced later.

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